I've always thought that 18th and 19th C. wrought iron belonged, with early lighting, in a separate category. Crafted largely of wrought and tinned iron and brass, the products of
early metalsmiths were designed for use but infused with personal style. They furnished
the kitchen, equipped the hearth, provided the light and made life in the colonies possible. Today these same pieces make life enjoyable as well. We'll bring you the best we can
find and we guarantee their authenticity.
Early 19th C. Double Heart Trivet
This is an extremely finely made Southeastern Pennsylvania trivet in the form of a slender heart. The crested handle terminates in a delicately worked second heart. This trivet was clearly made and finished by a whitesmith. Although Don Plummer’s book on the Sorber Collection includes no comparable form, p. 223 of Antique Iron shows a Pennsylvania trivet with a similar handle terminal. That piece is in the National Gallery of Art.
11½” x 4¼”.
Ca. 1790-1810 Brass Lighting Crane
This falls into the “find another one” department. Wrought iron cranes that suspended cooking pots over fireplace fires were almost universal; wall-mounted lighting cranes were not. This crane is especially unusual in that it’s brass. The combination of cut corners on the back plate and the Q.A. serpentine contour on the underside of the swinging arm strongly suggest early Federal origins. Probably English. This would likely have been used alongside an armchair or next to a desk suspending an oil lamp or candle lantern to provide additional light to work by. Interesting is the replacement of one brass pintle mount with another of forged iron. Someone valued this crane highly. $275
Rare American Lantern in Original Blue
Though typically sold as American, the vast majority of wooden barn lanterns of this general form are English or European. Very nice pieces, just not American. This one is. 11½” tall and 6” on a side. Access to the interior is via a sliding glass pane. The candle is secured by the threads of a screw driven up from beneath. There is significant charring in the top board and shrinkage cracks from heat which have been reinforced from within. The heavy wrought iron handle is almost certainly original. There are many barn lanterns. This one is for the collector who knows the difference.
18th C. Wrought Iron Hearth Broiler
Very good New England rotating hearth broiler, entirely forge welded with alternating straight and serpentine bars, three penny feet and a lollipop terminal for hanging. 22” x 12” at the rotating surface. It may be by the same craftsman who made the rotating broiler now in Winterthur Museum illustrated on p. 239 of Iron In Winterthur, possibly Robert Orr Ca. 1770-1800. Excellent undamaged, unaltered condition.
Early Brass Miniature Chamberstick
Rare and wonderful true miniature brass go-to-bed chamber stick. Sheet brass pan with flaring sides and rolled edges. Seamed brass candle tube braised to the pan with a bulbous brass collar. Probably a child’s chamber stick, because the candle tube and bobeche show signs of repeated use. Likely English, possibly Birmingham, ca. 1800-1820.
18th C. Beam Spike Lighting Hook
Excellent American 18th/early 19th C. wrought iron beam spike lighting hook. It has none of the frou-frou embellishment typical of European designs. Massive mounting spike nearly 10” long hammer forged to a hook at once brawny and graceful. Even the face plate with its stepped base and globe shaped body is heavily forged, and the end of the spike is burnished from hammer strokes. PA, ca. 1750-1800. Ex-Paul Flack collection.
Halsey Munson Americana
204 North Summit Avenue
Decatur, Illinois 62522
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American Painted Tinware Chamberstick
Exceedingly rare early 19th C. American painted tinware chamberstick in absolutely original condition. No breaks or inpainting. Berlin, CT. Ca. 1800-1853. In the entire four volumes of Martin and Tucker’s detailed study of American Painted Tinware, only one chamberstick is illustrated. This one is Ex-Austin and Jill Fine and their collection sticker is on the underside.
Signed and Dated Traveling Lantern
Signed and dated mid-19th C. traveling candle lantern in original asphaltum surface. Open, 3” square and 5” high. Folded, 3” x 2” x ¾”. Mica windows, swiveling candle socket, even a rack for extra candles and matches. An identical lantern now in the Ford Museum is shown on p. 193 of Antiques Treasury.
Rare Splay legged Candle Mold
Generally, candle molds are about as exciting as the average Barcalounger, but there are exceptions. This 6-tube mold was made in Pennsylvania by an unknown smith whose trademark was the use of small splayed conical legs on his candle molds and lanterns. In 30 years I’ve owned two of his lanterns and only one other candle mold. Examples of this man’s work seldom appear. 11½”H. Rare.
Early Wrought Iron Table Top Peerman
A very unusual 18th or early 19th C. table top peerman with sprung jaws that will hold candles of different sizes. Typically seen in conjunction with lighting forms that feature rushlights, splint holders or candle cups, this is the only standalone example I’ve ever owned. Carefully made, with delicate leaf-shaped feet riveted to the circular dished base. Probably French for the American market, possibly made in Pennsylvania. 7”H. Base 4” diameter.
Wooden Tabletop Adjustable Candleholder
An adjustable two-socket table top candleholder with a primitive arm carrying two candlecups that can be raised and lowered as the candles burn down. Most table top candleholders of this kind are between 14” and 24” tall. At only 7” this is the smallest example I’ve ever owned and may have been used to provide light at a desk. Simple oak candle arm mounting two tinned sheet iron sockets rotating on a threaded shaft rising from a turned fruitwood base. Ca. 1750-1800.
True Pair of 17th C. Brass Tapersticks
Extremely scarce true pair of brass solid cast 17th C. tapersticks. Where the nozzle diameter of 17th and 18th C. full-sized candlesticks varied roughly from 7/8” to 1¼”, tapersticks took smaller candles that would fit candle cups ranging from 1/2” to 5/8”. In addition to increasing illumination, tapersticks provided the wax that sealed letters and documents. 4¼”H x 4”D. In the current market, authentic tapersticks have become exceptionally rare. Dutch or Flemish. 1650-1700.
Polychrome Delft Candle Lantern
Rare 19th C. Delft candle lantern in underglaze polychrome decoration. Original glass in all three windows. Part of metal door latch missing. No breaks or cracks and very little fritting. Excellent condition overall. 8½” to the roof peak, 4½” square.
Painted Double Lensed
Unusually small pierced sheet iron candle lantern with two convex lenses, in original red paint. Untouched condition with both lenses original and a rare tiny roof-mounted auxiliary candle socket. 8” tall. Lanterns of this size were typically used to illuminate low-hanging beams, and often as go-to-bed lights. Ca. 1800.